Nick Hansen, Arrowhead tennis teacher, discusses hitting shots outside of the ideal strike zone in this week’s tennis tip. We are not always able to hit the ball in our ideal strike zone, so you need to be prepared for the high and low shots. On the ball that is high in the strike zone, imagine hitting across a table top and keeping the swing plane even. The ball will go in the net if you hit even slightly down on it. Tennis is a lifting game, even the high ball needs to be lifted. When hitting a high backhand, do not try to do too much with the shot, just rally it back deep, preferably to your opponent’s backhand. On the short ball, use your fastest footwork to get up to the ball quickly, pause and load on your outside foot, and make contact out front. When hitting topspin on the low ball, you need to lift the ball high with an almost vertical swing plane. Make sure you do not jump up or lift your head when you do this. Slice can also be an effective response to low balls. Make sure to practice, practice, practice!